Teacher B.T. Cates is arrested for teaching Darwin's theories. Famous lawyer Henry Drummond defends him; fundamentalist politician Matthew Brady prosecutes. This is a very thinly disguised rendition of the 1925 "Scopes monkey trial" with debates between Clarence Darrow and William Jennings Bryan taken largely from the transcripts. Written by
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The buzz about Fredric March's and Spencer Tracy's performances spread around the studio lot and Hollywood to the point that a lot of extras made their way to the set just to see the action. In one instance, the extras were applauding so much at one of March's dramatic speeches that they ruined the take by not waiting until the end. See more »
The film is set in 1925. During Drummond's cross-examination of Brady, he uses the word "sex", not to mean "gender", but as a shorthand for "sexual intercourse". The first known example of this usage was not until 1929. See more »
I have recently seen this movie on t.v. and was highly impressed with direction, photography and of course the acting! Spencer Tracy is one of my all time greats along with Frederic March so imagine seeing them together! Some may thing March a little over the top but personally I find his performance one of the most riviting and engaging I have ever come across in film, he should have received an Oscar for this. Somehow although acting styles have become more naturalistic over the years the spark and energy given by the greats of the past is simply missing in the vast majority of modern performances. That God they are preserved on film.
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